Social Media Blog

  • New guidelines proposed to govern social media use and publishing at UTMB

    A new set of guidelines is being proposed to help manage the use of social media at UTMB. The guidelines seek to help  formalize UTMB’s social media programs, provide additional oversight, standards and resources including training.

    The guidelines—which align with practices in use at similar organizations—build on existing policies, will require site registration, and offer publishers much more detail about setting up and maintaining an effective social presence. The document grew from recommendations made in a social media audit conducted in 2014. The audit called for the  Office of Marketing and Communications to “develop formal guidelines and best practices to support social media strategy and policy including, but not limited to, terms of use, legal disclaimers, program ownership, monitoring, site/account approval and administration, and site administrator training.”

    The document is a draft; your input is welcome and appreciated.

    Provide feedback by commenting on this blog post or emailing

    You can read the full audit results online, and please contact us with questions.

  • This we “Like”: input sought on social media strategy

    Last summer, a team from across the institution worked on a comprehensive review of UTMB’s social media program, looking for best practices, gaps and opportunities. Based on recommendations from the audit, a risk assessment was completed earlier this year. Additional work is planned through 2016, which will include updates to UTMB’s policies, the development of social media training, and new requirements related to site registration.

    One audit recommendation involved the development/update of a comprehensive strategy for UTMB’s social media program. Using core elements from the Texas Department of Information Resources Social Media Resource Guide, a draft strategy document was created. Your input is welcome; once the formal strategy is developed, the institutional social media policy will be aligned and revised accordingly. (See current policy and disclaimer)

    Please review the draft strategy document; provide feedback by commenting on this blog post or emailing
    You can read the full audit results online, and please contact us with questions.

  • Social media audit paves way for refresh of UTMB’s program

    Late last year, we worked with a team from Audit Services on a comprehensive review of our institutional social media program, looking for best practices, gaps, opportunities. The report was shared with executive leadership and many key stakeholders, and since then we’ve been moving ahead with development and implementation. The project shares many similarities and in many places intersects with our transformative “Web Reboot” project.  

    There were are a few common themes in our audit recommendations, largely centered on formalization of the program, providing additional oversight, creating more standards and policies governing use, and offering more training and additional monitoring. Here’s what it said:

    1) The Office of Marketing and Communications, working with the Office of Information Security (OIA), should conduct a risk assessment of institutionally branded social media sites.  This assessment process should include identifying and evaluating associated risks and developing an action plan to mitigate those risks. (This has been completed.)

    2) Using the DIR Social Media Resource Guide core elements as guidance, the Office of Marketing and Communications should develop a formal strategy for UTMB Health’s social media program. Once the formal strategy is developed, the social media policy should be aligned and revised accordingly. (You can review a draft of the plan now.

    3) The Office of Marketing and Communications should develop formal guidelines and best practices to support social media strategy and policy including, but not limited to, terms of use, legal disclaimers, program ownership, monitoring, site/account approval and administration, and site administrator training. (See current policy and disclaimer)

    4) The Office of Marketing and Communications should require that institutionally branded social media sites be formally registered with UTMB Health. (Visit our site inventory tool, part of the Web Reboot project.)

    5) The Office of Marketing and Communications should develop a formal strategy for monitoring social media to protect the institutional brand from negative publicity or adverse reputational issues. (We are monitoring, and are working to formalize and enhance the program to better serve our many UTMB customers. This is a major area of focus for us.)

    6) The Office of Marketing and Communications should develop targeted training for individuals responsible for administering institutionally branded social media sites that detail proper procedures for managing these sites. Consideration should be given to this training being a prerequisite for site/account approval. (While the training programs are developed, we’ve been meeting with interested groups or individuals as requested. Contact us below for more information.) 

     You can read the full audit results online, and please contact us with questions.

  • Writing, convergence, social media and audience: how it all ties together

    Driving through Louisiana this weekend, I was having a conversation with my teenage son about potential careers and how things change. He’s an avid reader so we got on the topic of writing as a profession, and the many challenges and changes the field has undergone. Somewhere in there we talked about how we live at a time where there is more to read, material is easier to access , and more people are writing (present company included, no statement on quality). How all this content gets to audiences is very relevant to what we do as communicators and as readers.

    There’s an article I found useful that distills a lot of what’s been going on with content, authors and the channels that deliver them. It helps explain why Facebook (and other successful aggregators) matter. It’s a long read:

  • Organic reach on FB and Social Network Stats: 2015-2016

    Organic reach of posts by Facebook Business Pages

    More than ever, Facebook Business Pages need to “pay to play” (i.e. pay to boost/target their posts &/or buy ads vs. sending out “promotional” posts) in order to reach their followers’ Newsfeeds. Candis Hidalgo on provides additional tips to try to keep your FB page posts visible to your fans.

    • Encourage Fans To Use Interest Lists
    • Encourage Fans To Get Notifications From Your Page
    • Use Promotions In Combination With Facebook Ads

    Who uses which social networks in 2015 & projections for 2016
    An infographic on by by Carlos Monteiro featuring research from eMarketer.

    A few of the findings:

    • The majority of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 18-34. Instagram has 11.4 million users aged 17 and younger
    • Facebook has more users than any other social network
    • The Facebook demographic with the most growth is the 65+ crowd
    • While the 25-34 age group makes up the majority of Facebook’s users, the proportion of persons from this age group joining Facebook as new members has gone down relative to other age groups.

    Commenters question the absence of Snaphat, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+, but there are interesting stats for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Despite issues with declining organic reach, Facebook will still have the largest share of users.

  • Free speech, social media and the workplace

    There’s a news item that caught our collective interest related to social media and free speech. It’s notable for a number of reasons: it’s in our market area and in health care, and about a topic that will be getting more official attention at UTMB in the coming year. The news item is about an employee at Memorial Hermann Southeast (in the Scarsdale area) who was fired for a Facebook post about the situation in Ferguson. 

    The post was unarguably insensitive, but beyond the content, it raises a lot of questions about where the line exists between personal life and work. It’s been a blurry divide for years; new initiatives we have planned related to policies and user guidelines at UTMB will hopefully help to steer people in the right direction. The work’s being driven by a review of our overall institutional use of social media and the programs/practices that support it. We’ll share a lot more about this in the coming weeks and future posts.       

    Here’s the full KHOU story:

  • Taking the good with the bad (social media advertising)

    While we currently do some online advertising for UTMB services (mostly search based), we’ve not yet taken the plunge into social media advertising. We get asked about it from time to time and it’s an outlet we’ve been watching. Why the trepidation? Digiday writer John McDermott sums it up pretty well in his article “Haters Gonna hate: Brands pay to get an earful on social platforms.”

  • Facebook changes Timeline for Pages (June 2014)

    Facebook is changing the look of Timelines on Pages to a one-column design more similar to the Timelines on individual profiles. (Quick reminder: Pages are generally public and can be for a person, business, movie, etc., while personal profiles are just for individual use.) This news came out on Mashable yesterday, and UTMB’s timeline was changed by this morning (June 6). Well, it’s changed when I view it as an Administrator. When I log in to my personal account and go to the Page, it’s still in the old format. Weird.

    From an Admin. point, it looks like a change for the better, and hopefully it will be a good change in practice as well. I like the new ways to navigate to and access Page info., including new “THIS WEEK” stats at upper right.

    Facebook Moves to Single-Column Timelines for Pages

  • THANK YOU, UTMB Support Staff Professionals!

    I had a great opportunity to speak with UTMB’s Support Staff Professionals about social media at their monthly luncheon today.
    It was great to make your acquaintance, and I look forward to working with you in the future!
    I encourage everyone who uses social media in their role at UTMB to join the Social Media Workgroup to keep up with trends and UTMB policies.

    Here are links to past blog posts (from here), a couple of infographics and an article that I hope you will find to be helpful.

  • Change your passwords: Heartbleed security flaw

    By now you’ve likely heard about the recent Heartbleed security flaw. If not, here is a good FAQ:
    Q. and A. on Heartbleed: A Flaw Missed by the Masses

    If you haven’t already, you should change the passwords on UTMB third-party tools including social media accounts. Here is a list of affected media:
    The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

    One UTMB department’s Twitter account was hacked and posted spam yesterday. It wasn’t terrible spam, but not something that UTMB would endorse or promote. It was nipped in the bud, deleted and password changed. Hope this info. will help prevent further breaches of this sort.